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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  November 25, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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released. it measures the output of u.s.-based products and services. and friday, the rhinestone cowboy, glen campbell, plays his final concert in napa, california, after being diagnosed with early stages of alzheimer's. a lot coming your way this week. that's going to do it for me. much more of the "newsroom" straight ahead with martin savidge in for don lemon. >> let's get started right away and bring you up to speed with the headlines. egypt's president standing hard on his decree saying hey, it's only temporary. it didn't go over well. they demand that morsi lifts his rule. even larger demonstrations are planned for tomorrow. at least 117 people are dead after a massive fire at a clothing factory in bangladesh.
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it happened just outside the capital city of daka. you can see that every window is lit with flames. some workers did try to escape by jumping out those windows. 200 people were injured. officials say there were 200 workers mostly women, in the factory. they expect the death toll to rise. china has successfully landed a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier for the very first time. china's official news agency says the aircraft carrier was originally being built for the old soviet union. it's expected to hold 30 j-15 fighter jets. it could be years before that carrier is fully operational. and a six-alarm fire kept firefighters busy overnight. it continued until the early morning hours. two firefighters were hurt when a wall collapsed on them. 20 apartments and several businesses inside that building were damaged, but all the residents, they got out safely.
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a voluntary recall for the generic version of the popular anti-cholesterol drug lipitor. it is made by a company called ranbaxy. they fear that glass particles could have ended up in bottles of the drug which reduces cholesterol. the company is based in india. it is now calling back 40 batches of that generic pill. okay, if your home is bursting at the seams with black friday weekend deals, well, pat yourself on the back because you helped to set a record. the national retail federation says 247 million shoppers hit the stores and websites for post-thanksgiving sales, that's up from last year's 226 billion. and the average person spent $423 this weekend. last year shoppers left under just 400 bucks in the stores. in all bargain hunter consumers spent a record $59.1 billion this weekend.
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that's compared to last year's 52.4 billion. it looks like those thanksgiving door buster deals really work wonders. the trade association estimates that 28% of the shoppers were in the stores before midnight thursday night. okay. now we're just hours away from another big shopping blitz. that's cyber monday. but lori siegel explains you can avoid a lot of the confusion while online searching while trying to find the very best deals. >> cyber monday spending is expected to top $1.5 billion this year. that's up from last year, but the nature of the day has changed. like black friday, or now black thursday, it starts earlier. online deals were available every hour on black friday and cyber a new player in e-commerce? facebook. ahead of the holiday season, the social network got into the gifting game launching facebook gifts. this really seems like it's actually facebook taking a big
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step into e-commerce, right? >> we think of gifting as a unique form of e-commerce. we give it special attention. >> facebook gifts allows you to send your virtual friends real world gifts. >> right at your news feed where you would click for their birthday, you now see a new buy a gift button. >> it was designed with the cell phone in mind. >> we design the products to be mobile first. >> one of the leaders in gifting. >> the number one product is beardo. we've sold tens of thousands of beardos. you're probably going to see what is a beardo. >> i'll have you put that one on. >> it's like the perfect ski mask. it also functions as a beard. >> so we're carrying around these iphones or android phones all day. i don't want to put this up to my ear all the time. you can walk around talking like this. >> the smartphone has blurred the line between instore shopping and online shopping.
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shopping apps like red laser allow you to buy products online and pick them up in the store. even if you're shopping in the store, you're using the internet. >> i'm using apps special kmart to make sure i get the best deal. >> slice san app that comes through e-mail to track your online purchases and provides a valuable tool. >> once the item ships, we can send you a push notification saying that your package just shipped, we can tell you when it's been delivered to your door. >> this holiday season online shopping at your desk on that first day back at work, that may be a thing of the past. >> lori joins me now from new york. hey, lori. >> hey there. >> as we reported earlier consumers spent $60 billion this past weekend, yet cyber monday sales, they're only expected to be around 1.5 billion, which to me seems incredibly low. why is that? >> it's still a significant number, but when you look at it, cyber monday and the whole holiday has completely changed.
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the origin was we got to work on monday right after thanksgiving and we actually had access to broadband and high speed internet and that's where the deals were. now that's completely changed. you're seeing this happen more and more, you're seeing the online deals happen well before cyber monday. this whole week. so one big thing that's happening is mobile shopping is huge. a lot of people are using their smartphones, a lot of people are using their tablets to go on and make purchases ahead of time. online shopping on your smartphone and mobile devices are up nearly two-thirds from 2011. 9% using their iphone to shop. and 5.5% using their android devices to shop. where it used to be we had access to the internet that monday, now we have access all the time. and retailers are getting smart and essentially putting the deals out there a little earlier. >> why do people go to the store in first place? what's the benefit of buying at a store versus online?
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i can buy whatever i want and get a great deal. >> sure. i think some of these big retailers, they still have great deals. there's something about going to the store, being first in line and getting some of these products. some of these online services are great, but a lot of times they can go out of stock. especially around the holiday season, there's a tradition of getting in there as soon as the stores open and getting that coveted toy you really, really want. and i don't think we'll see that disappear. as you see by the numbers, that's not going to disappear, but these online sales, they're happening earlier and earlier. they're still happening on cyber monday. but cyber monday has -- it's not going to be completely over, but it is changing quite a bit. >> no i can see the people start right away. really interesting stuff. appreciate it. this week is key for those of you and myself who are worried about the so-called fiscal cliff. lawmakers are returning to work in washington and they have just 37 days i believe it is now. there you can see. it's a daunting task if
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president obama and congress fail to reach a tax deal because that will mean huge tax increases and spending cuts would automatically kick in january 1st. today several key republicans backed away from a pledge banning tax hikes including senator lindsey graham and congressman peter king. are we inching closer to some potential compromise. athena joan has been following the fiscal cliff negotiations. >> martin, with congress returning this weekend, not much public evidence of any real progress on a deal the avoid the fiscal cliff. folks here in washington are wondering if this week will prove a turning point for republicans and democrats. members of congress expressed optimism sunday about the prospects for reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. a series of tax increases and spending cuts next year that could do serious damage to the economy. they also sounded warnings. >> we can and must get an agreement. otherwise i think first of all the markets are going to start
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reacting. >> it's not a done deal and not a certainty. if congress does nothing, which congress has gotten pretty good at doing these days, we'll go over the fiscal cliff. >> reporter: staffers have been working behind the scenes to find common ground to prevent across-the-board cuts lawmakers say should concern everyone. >> i think you should be worried if you have a fence job we all ought to be worried whether we are dependent upon other aspects of the federal budget, whether we're worried about the regulation of our food safety, whether we're worried about our borders being secure, whether we're worried about fbi being supported. >> reporter: a key sticking point is what to do about taxes. democrats and the president want to raise tax rates for the wealthy. republicans don't. the war now breaking with anti-tax crusader grover norquist who had gotten a majority of republican lawmakers to pledge not to support any effort to raise taxes. >> i'm willing to generate revenue, it's fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table. we're below historic averages.
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i will not raise tax rates to do it. i will cap deductions. i will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country only if democrat will do entitlement reform. >> reporter: it's not yet clear when lawmakers and the president will meet next. a final deal could still be a long way off. >> we rarely see the hill and the white house make decisions early. i would be pleasantly surprised to see a deal emerge earlier than the end of the year. but we'll see. >> reporter: this week just might bring the parties one step closer. athena jones, cnn, washington. anger and fresh clashes in egypt as dwivisions deepen over the president's new powers. even the financial markets taking notice. a weekend getaway turned into a raging inferno. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink.
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it is just a little after 1:00 in the morning right now in egypt after another day of very furious public protests and strong police retaliation. [ sirens ] the scene in central cairo a few hours ago, egyptians are still furious about their new president's sudden announcement that his word is law. and it can't be overturned even by the courts. that sent angry people into the streets saying that the decree sounds too much like the kind of leadership that triggered the egyptian revolution last year. president mohamed morsi said he will meet with his supreme judicial counsel tomorrow but that's not helping calm in cairo today. reza has staid up late. and he joins us now.
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what are you hearing about death on the streets in northern egypt today? what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: yeah, martin, obviously we've seen a lot of violence over the past few days. we've reported hundreds of injuries. tonight we're reporting the first death. according to the muslim brotherhood spokesperson, a 15-year-old boy by the name of islam masoud was killed when anti-morsi protesters tried to attack the muslim brotherhood's office in a northern city. he's being described as a member of the brotherhood's youth group. apparently these attackers had knives and clubs and sticks. the muslim brotherhood is telling us that masoud was hit in the head with a club. he was rushed to the hospital but before he got there he was pronounced dead. at this point the brotherhood doesn't look like they're using this fatality as a rallying cry to stir things up, but we'll certainly keep an eye on the fallout. in the meantime, give you a look at what tahrir square looks
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like. it's a little after 1:00 a.m. cairo time. thousands still out here at tahrir square. we're seeing pockets of clashes continuing at this hour. that dangerous game of cat and mouse between protesters and police. we should point out many of these protesters are teenagers, 20-something young men, probably some of them are out here to cause some trouble, but when you look at that center area tahrir square, those are the people who are out here. they say they're determined to stay here until mr. morsi rescinds his decrees. here's what one protester had to say. >> translator: i completely reject the constitutional decree that was announced last there's by the president because it gives president morsi is powers of a new pharaoh in egypt. actually, there was never a pharaoh like this before because ousted president hosni mubarak, with all his arrogance and dictatorial tendencies, never gave himself the power that no one can appeal his decisions.
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>> reporter: the opposing factions don't look like they're backing down, martin, neither does the muslim brotherhood and the president. that's why this looks to be an intensifying situation in the days ahead. >> reza, the president has said this decree is only temporary. what does he mean by that? >> reporter: well, this was his attempt to placate his opponents and his critics. he released the statement saying that these decrees are temporary only until a parliament is formed. and this all-important new constitution is drafted. he says this is an effort to keep the old recommend nantds of the mubarak regime from undermining the democratic process. obviously his critics still gathered here in tahrir square reject that claim. they believe this is a power grab. that's why they say they're not going anywhere until he rescinds these decrees. >> keeping an eye on egypt
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tonight. egypt's stock market is not handling the uncertainty well. stock markets generally don't. stocks took a dive. they were down nearly 10%. today was the fir day the egyptian exchange was open since morsi's controversial announcement. one trader says that confidence in the markets is now worse than it was when the revolution began. >> translator: during the january 25th revolution, there were contingency operations that still exist today, but we were optimistic that after month two, the stock exchange would recover. we expected new investment and new policies from the state, but now we're losing more than we're gaining, whether it be in the economy or in politics. and therefore the situation of the egyptian stock exchange is worse than in the january 25th revolution. >> and egypt's economy had been suffering even before all of this. at one point today trading was even suspended to try to stop that. but stocks kept sliding. the next session will surely be closely watched.
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some republicans are having second thoughts about the pledge. let's talk about the gop and the no-tax-hike promise with two cnn contributors. anna navarro is a republican strategist and l.c. granderson is a writer for good to see you both. >> thank you, martin. >> there we are. just making sure you all hear me. this week, he sort of backed off that no-new-tax pledge that was promoted by other activists in this organization, specific cligcally grover norquist. it is now lindsey graham that's come forward, peter king that has said the same thing and, anna, let me ask you what is going on? is it sudden through realization
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that compromise must be made? >> i think it's pragmatism. i think it's practicality. i think it's the desire to want to get something done. and look, i know lindsey graham well. saxby chambliss, peter king, these are thoughtful, smart, principled leaders. and they are fiscal conservatives. they are anti-tax. i don't think a pledge should define anybody. i'm not a fan of pledges. i think you pledge to your god. i think you pledge to your constituents. you pledge to your country. the kind of representative i want going to washington is somebody that's going to act out of conviction, out of conscience, out of what his constituents want and not because they are being told to through a pledge. it's taking a lot of cowage for what saxby chambliss and lindsey graham are doing. both of these guys just earned themselves a primary as a result of these statements. and i will tell the people of georgia and of south carolina, you are very well served by those two senators.
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i hope they win. i hope they get re-elected. they're doing a fine job. saxby, lindsey, call me, no pledges for me. i pledge to help you. >> i think they're doing what they should do, which is their job at representing the people. but l.c., let me ask you this. graham has said that he is open to raising more revenue but only if the democrats are willing to make cuts in entitlement program. so seems like a legitimate request. uncht know what i don't get with this whole discussion? two things. the idea that we're not going to raise taxes but we're going to cut deductions or cap them. that's raising taxes. that's moving a shell game around. we're raising revenue through tax raises. doesn't matter what you call them so long as the result is the same. the other thing i don't get is this notion that democrats are the ones that protect entitlements and republicans are ones that are trying to protect businesses or rich people. i think we've got to get past this oversimplification.
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there's not a republican in office -- maybe you can correct me -- not a republican is saying we need to get rid of entilgtzmentes. they want to keep them, what they want is some sort of responsibility for it. i think it's important that we get away from some of the talking points and the little sound bites and look at the fact that both parties want to keep entitlements, both parties are pro business. it's not about being anti-tax, it's about unnecessary taxes. i think both parties don't want to have unnecessary taxes as well. as long as we're able to have an intelligent conversation about this and move away from the sound bites, a compromise is much easier to be made. >> well, what about walking away from this whole pledge thing? that did seem to be a road block in the minds of many republicans. >> pledges are stupid. >> but they were acted upon. >> they were power grabs by individuals outside of office, right? they don't have voters that they have to answer to, they don't have live that will be affected
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by these pledges. all they're doing is trying to co-opt some sort of power grab saying i have x amount of influence because of look at the people that signed my pledges. not just grover's pledge. look at the other fringe organizations that had pledges. michele bachmann got in trouble for signing a pledge something along the lines that black people were better under slavery than under president obama. that was one of her pledges during the primaries. that's why i say pledges are stupid. they're power grabs for off site organizations that have nothing to do with voters. >> look, martin, earlier in the year, martin, earlier in the year jeb bush was testifying in front of a committee in congress and got asked about pledges. and his answer, you know, jeb bush ran for governor three times, got asked to sign the pledge three times, did not do it. now, he governed as a fiscally conservative governor. he did not raise taxes. and his answer was you do not outsource your convictions. that i think is exactly the
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right notion. people who go to washington to represent us should have. i want them acting out of conviction, not because they are being held to some pressure, some pledge. this is not a fraternity. it is congress. it is a serious issue. >> let me stop you both here before we run out of time i want to breach another subject. the footnote to the presidential race. politico asked obama's campaign manager which republican he had feared the most. this is what was said. >> i think huntsman would have been a tough candidate. i can tell you he's a good guy. we looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been difficult. >> i need quick answers from both of you. but i know l.z. you said nice things about huntsman in the past. are you surprised by hearing this now by what jim messina said? >> i wish he'd said it last year. it might have helped huntsman
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some then. look, i think huntsman is a principled leader, something that's very thoughtful. you know, he also -- he had a hard time distinguishing himself from the pack, but i think we are going to see a very good slew of candidates for the republican party in four years. >> l.z.? >> you know, you said it best. i've been a huge huntsman supporter since he announced his candidacy. i know for a fact that people within the obama administration as well as the campaign were legitimately fearful of huntsman early on. the fact that jon huntsman wasn't able to get a word in edgewise in talking about foreign policy though he was the only primary candidate that had any foreign policy experience told you how misguided the republican party was. now they're able to look back and hopefully have jon huntsman or someone like him be part of the conversation four years from now because i do like jon huntsman a lot. >> thank you both for joining me. we'll see what happens. less than four years away till
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the next presidential election. thank you both for joining us. 'tis the season is travel. we'll show you ho you the nation's airports and roadways are faring today and what it may mean for the hustle and bustle closer to christmas. i'm dr. sanjay gupta. this week on "the next list" meet max little, a math wiz and innovator with a surprising goal. >> my name's max little. i'm aiming to screen the population for parkinson's disease. >> max little has a bold idea. what if doctors could detect parkinson's disease simply by the sound of your voice? >> ah! >> max little is close to proving just that. he says one simple voice test can determine if someone has parkinson's. all you need is a telephone. >> we've got an ultralow cost way of detecting the disease. >> watch how max little's surprising idea is taking shape. let's say you want to get ahead in your career.
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half past the hour now. p let's take a look at some of the headlines. investigators say a giant blast that turned a massachusetts strip club into dust and debris friday night was caused by human error. they say that a utility worker responding to a report of gas, the gas smell, that is, punctured a high pressure gas line by mistake. the officials say the worker went by incorrect markings on the sidewalk and they believe the gas entered the strip club triggering that explosion. 21 people were hurt most of them emergency responders. the floods tormenting southwest england in wales are expected to get worse. look at these images of these swollen rivers and towns under water. dozens of roads are already closed and some drivers have had to be rescued from their drivers. one woman has died, she was
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trapped under a tree. nobody won last night's powerball jackpot. and if you know that, you already know. the estimated jackpot is for wednesday. $425 million. it's the largest ever for the multi-state lottery. there haven't been any jackpot winners for 15 straight runs. but 2 million people did match some of the numbers, so check your tickets. the winning numbers are 22, 32, 37, 44, 50 and the powerball of 34. traveling today may require some stamina. whether you are flying, driving or taking the train. the sunday after thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year for americans. so far smooth sailing for most holiday airline travelers. susan candiotti joins us from laguardia airport. how is lagaraguardia? that place is bad even on a
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normal day. >> reporter: i know. it's really been slow and steady, but the two words i can tell you that we saw time and again on the flight display board were these -- on time. martin, it's been perhaps unlike a weekday event on this particular day at laguardia. we have seen virtually no lines as you check in and virtually no lines going through security as well. you can see what it looks like behind me right now. as you said before, smooth sailing. perhaps this is largely due in part to the good weather we've been having throughout the country today. a few handful of delays here and there in certain spots, but nothing of any consequence, for example at jfk airport here in new york, delays of sometimes 30 minutes on the tarmac. well, that's pretty much what it is monday through friday. so, however, the tsa is still advising people that they should always get to the airport at least an hour and a half ahead of time during the heaviest travel times of the year, this being one of them. and they also have that other
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reminder, if you're bringing back leftovers from thanksgiving dinner, gravy? can't do it. it's a liquid. but if you want to bring back a turkey leg, that was okay. martin, back to you. >> i'm glad to hear that, especially for new yorkers because they've had such a tough month. what about travel snags elsewhere in the nation? >> reporter: you know, we really haven't heard of much. we heard of one in san francisco of earlier this day. i think that was due to some weather, but it was mainly cloudy weather from what we understand. and so throughout we really haven't -- we talked to a lot of passengers coming in from all parts of the country, particularly the midwest. and they said they also had no lines when they left there this morning and headed back home to new york. >> susan candiotti, thank you very much for braving it and making it out to the airport today on a very busy travel day. i'm glad things areoving smoothly. thanks again. don't purchase that burial plot just yet. if you were, instead, why not
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it was a spectacular scene off miami beach as a 78-foot yacht went up in flames. the coast guard and rescue units were on site in minutes yesterday but there was very little they could do. our affiliate reports. >> reporter: a massive fire off the water in miami beach and behind the camera, fernando sordo, a captain with seato you. >> from the time i got there, it started at the top of the vessel then worked it way down.
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>> reporter: within minutes the 80-foot mega yacht was engulfed in fire. all they could do was watch it burn until a fire boat arrived and began to douse the blaze. >> from the front of the boat to the back, the entire boat was engulfed. >> reporter: the plume of smoke so thick people standing on the beach three miles away could clearly see the vessel go up in smoke. >> pretty amazing. we looked out our room and saw all the smoke and ships steaming towards it at a high rate of speed. >> reporter: people on board jumped into the water and were not hurt. they were taken to the miami beach coast guard station for questioning. the crew was returning to bal harbor marina when the fire broke out. >> kind of like lighting up paper. it will be on fire until something puts it out. >> reporter: how it started is under investigation, but as much as firefighters tried, there was no saving "blissful" from the
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inferno. it sank in 700 feet of water. >> bye-bye. no more yacht. >> nicely put. that was our affiliate wsbn. one of the most crowded places on earth is running out of space to bury the dead. the option now, floating eternity. we'll explain.
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if you have ever been you probably know that hong kong is one of the most crowded places on earth. 17,000 people living in one just square mile of that city. the shrinking amount of space combined with hong kong's aging population is giving rise to a new take on burial at sea. a floating cemetery. it's called floating eternity, which unto itself gives kind of a neat name there.
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how many people can be interred is the word? >> the idea here and this is still in the new phase, whenever you have a problem, someone will try to find a solution to the problem. we're looking at 370,000 niches that people can place urns with their loved one's remains into this wall that's going to circulate on this cruise. and it's very eco friendly, mind you, because all this is supposed to be powered by tidal energy. so that being said, it's just in the idea phase right now. a price tag has not been associated with it because of the fact that it's still a concept. and if you can see, here are the pictures we have from the company that's proposed this. it's this maritime memorial. here are two people visiting the memorial. they'll have food. it's a whole experience. >> is this a place or do you go on the cruise in the after life? >> no, it's like a cruise for your remains. >> how do they come up with a
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consensus on where to send you. but there are other ways that cultures deal with the dead without necessarily burying them. >> let's take a trip back. the vikings lived and died at sea. the deceased were sent out with their riches. in ancient egypt. people were mummified to preserve bodies so they could meet up with the souls in the afterlife. in islam bodies are not cremated. it is forbidden. they're not placed in caskets. they're wrapped in a white shroud after a prayer ritual takes place. then we go ghana where we have the person's life work is commemorated in the caskets that are made for those individuals. so if you're a fisherman, you're placed in a fish casket. if you're a carpenter, you're placed in a hammer, so you get the idea. then in tibet -- and we talked about this earlier, so they have sky burials. now where does this term sky burial come from? it's not that they're buried in
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the sky. but when a person dies, three days after they die, they have body breakers who come out to the site of the burial location and they chop up the body. now, why do they do that? it's a way so that the vultures the and nature can take its course and so that those remains are then taken up into the sky. at least that's the idea. >> i don't know what the union must by for body breakers, but it must be incredible. there must be alternatives here. >> there are. some look at our culture might think it's odd that we put makeup on our deceased so we can have a final moment with them. if you have the money you can have a space burial. we've heard about this. you can send your remains up to space. you can turn your ashes into gems, diamonds, right? and there's also coral reefs. you can have your remains turned into coral reefs. >> thank you very much. some of the options to think about. i'll keep that on the bottom of
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my to-do list, thank you. >> you're welcome.
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. president obama made history last week becoming the first american president to visit
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cambodia as part of his asian tour. it's a country still very much haunted by a horrifying past. cnn white house correspondent dan lothian traveled with the president on that trip, and he gives us a chilling look at history. >> reporter: the road to the killing fields on the outskirts of phnom penh is dusty and at times only partly paved. a 30-minute ride into this country's painful past when some 2 million people were killed under pol pot's brutal rule, a man some refer to as the hitler of cambodia. this is the truck stop where people were brought, some from prisons or elsewhere. sometimes it was hundreds by truck each day. some held out hope. others knew it was the end. this is where they came to die. they were all accused of crimes against the state. most were killed the night they arrived here. others were kept alive for a few more hours in small steel and wood structures that were once right here on this spot. this man, who begs for money and
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food every day along the fence surrounding the killing fields, says his brother was arrested, brought here, and murdered by the khmer rouge. it's sad, he says, while cnn can't verify his account, our translator says it's credible. there are grim stories at every turn. across fields where a dip in the ground means another grave. this is one of the largest shallow graves where 450 bodies were found. sometimes when it rains, you will find pieces of cloth and bone fragments on the surface. and it's not just in there. all around. right here you will find a tooth. the prisoners weren't killed with bullets. that was considered to be too expensive. instead, they were beaten and hacked to death, falling into these shallow graves. pol pot's motto, it's better to kill an innocent by mistake than to spare an enemy my mistake. that twisted logic resulted in a genocide in the mid to late '70s. today at this site, one of more
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than 300 killing fields in cambodia, there's a tower of skulls and bones, a haunting memorial to the victims. the obama administration has concerns about the human rights situation in cambodia today. it doesn't rise to the level of past atrocities, but when president obama met with the prime minister of this country here, he pressed him to hold free and fair elections and to release political prisoners. and while cambodian officials say the situation is being exaggerated, the president warned that lack of reforms would be an impediment to a deeper relationship with the u.s. dan lothian, cnn, phnom penh. the fighting irish are back on top poised to play for a national title. but another storied football program is wrapping up what was a most difficult season. ♪ you can stay in and like something... ♪ [ car alarm deactivates ] ♪
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i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know. you know ronny folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than a witch in a broom factory. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. you know, no team stirs emotions in college football like notre dame and now the fighting irish are back on top. let's talk about it with john werth him, senior investigative reporter for "sports illustrated" and there is a new issue of "si" with the fighting irish on the cover. go figure on that one, john. great to see you. notre dame beat southern cal so the fighting irish are one game away from a national title. is this a return to normalcy inform college football?
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>> program with this storied reputation had really been pretty much irrelevant for years and years. they'd gone through coaches, had some abysmal seasons. even two years ago they lost to tulsa. this year not expected to contend for a national championship. they have not lost yet, as you said. this has really been one of the nice stories in college football, and this is a program that is so national. it's really like the yankees or even the dallas cowboys, really a national brand that i think the ratings last night from the game were tremendous and the national championship might be the most viewed college football game ever. this is really a program that people polarize. this is a program that matters. >> and notre dame will probably end up playing alabama or georgia from what i understand. quickly here, either one of those teams do you think good enough to beat the irish? >> i think both of them are. realistically people that follow college football know alabama is very strong, a die nas tick team. no matter what the match-up is, it's relevant. it's sort of this national powerhouse against the regional
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team, and it's great for college football. >> and it's notre dame. let's talk about another storied program but with a very different perspective, penn state. they went 8-4, but that's actually really an accomplishment considering the tremendous amount of turmoil they went through in the past year. you covered the whole jerry sandusky scandal or "si" and on cnn as well. what are your thoughts on where penn state stands a year after the scandal broke? >> this is not a narrative that had much in the way of joy and the fact that -- it's really a tribute to this football team, the players this had an option to transfer. it doesn't really compare to the horrors of the last year but it will be interesting to see where we go from here. the team can't play in a bowl because of the punishments and it willing -- will be interesting to see of what continues. these seniors, this was really collateral damage. they had nothing to do with this scandal and they were punished and it's great for them to sort of go out, as seniors
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especially, to go out on a high note. >> tell bus that article you posted at it's a great story that goes far beyond the world of sports. >> i spent a few days -- a few days ago i was with scott wells, the center for the st. louis rams. a few years ago on thanksgiving he and his wife were expecting twins and both of the boys died in child birth but they were determined to have a big family. they had three biological kids and last summer they went to africa and adopted -- they wanted to adopt two children. they learned there was a third sibling and they said what's the difference between five kids and six. they now have three biological kids, three adopted kids from uganda and this was their first thanksgiving together the other day. >> sometimes the greatest sports stories are not the ones you see on a scoreboard. thanks very much for joining us today. >> thanks, martin. you are in the cnn "newsroom." i'm martin savidge in for don lemon. i want to show you these live


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